Monday, February 24, 2014


After 6 months in California and almost 7 months total on a mission, my visa has finally come! I will be leaving for Sao Paulo, Brazil tomorrow morning and arriving the following morning. CRAZY. I can't describe my feelings right now. I found out that they are starting a new program for Brazil Visa Waiters who have been re-assigned for more than 2 months... a 2 week Portuguese refresher course in the Sao Paulo, Brazil MTC. Yes, I'm going back to the MTC! To the MTC I was originally supposed to go to though! I think that will be such a blessing. It is going to be hard to leave California! So hard. This is my first mission! Now onto the second. I know I have learned so much from being here and look forward to new lessons and adventures that await me.
I guess if there's any message I'd like to leave with y'all today it's this: the Lord really does give us the experiences we need if we will just open our eyes. He'll give us opportunities to learn and grow. He'll give us relief and comfort. He'll also give us the people that we need as well. With every experience, good or bad, we can take an approach of "What can I learn from this?" rather than always pleading for other events or experiences.
I love the Lord, and I know He has blessed me with so many experiences that I needed. I know He will continue to give me these experiences in Brazil, even through the challenges that are ahead of me. Thank you for all your prayers. They have helped so much, and I know they will continue to be needed within the next few weeks especially.
Much Love,
Sister Shipp

Monday, February 17, 2014

So Wonderful!

What a wonderful week. Really. I love this area and Sister Ashworth. This transfer has been such a blessing! It has also FLOWN BY. Where did the time go? Really.
I've been thinking about building faith or finding a testimony of things. It really fit that I was asked last minute to give a talk in Sacrament meeting about using scripture and prayer to build a testimony. It also really fit because I knew my dad and brother were speaking in Sacrament meeting yesterday as well, so I felt really close to them and thought about them a lot as well.
Here's what I've been thinking: I apologize this will be a shorter thought today.
Either this church is the same church Jesus Christ set up when He was on the Earth, or it isn't. Either Joseph Smith really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, or he didn't. With that being said, how many times have you heard someone say "I know this church is true. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet called by God."? How can we know? It all comes down to the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is true, then this is that same church, and Joseph Smith did really have the experience that he claimed. There's a promise contained in the Book of Mormon that anyone who will read it, pray about it, will know for themselves that it is true. I know that it is because I've tested this promise. I know that each of us can know for ourselves that his is true as well.
Have a wonderful week!
Sister Shipp

Monday, February 10, 2014

Miracles for Sure

What an amazing week. There have definitely been some hard times, but the good and amazing far outweigh the challenges. We are seeing such great miracles here in Camarillo. I wish I had time to tell them all. If there was any one thing I learned this week, I think it was that Heavenly Father really will help us reach our goals. We set goals each day in terms of how many lessons we want to teach, people we want to talk to, and how many people we can begin teaching on a regular basis. I have really seen this week that those opportunities to reach those goals were given to us. For instance, setting a goal of 3 lessons for the day and having 3 people placed in our path that we could teach. Whenever we set goals that are pleasing to Heavenly Father, He will help us to accomplish them. I know this to be true; I saw it so many times this week.

I went on exchanges with Sister Stoker, who I had the opportunity to serve with in Ventura. It was so amazing to be her companion for the day and I learned so much from her. It's amazing to reflect back on my mission. I've been out for a little over 6 months total, 5 months in the Great California Ventura Mission. I can't even describe the changes and growth that I can see in myself. I can only imagine and wait patiently to see what more the Lord has in store for me as He shapes me into who I can be.

It seems Brazil is getting closer and closer. I just got a couple emails from my mission in Brazil. Of course they were in Portuguese so let the translating begin! It's amazing how much of the language is still with me. I know that's definitely a blessing. I am so grateful for this time to serve the first part of my mission in Ventura California. I'm really blessed to serve with Sister Ashworth right now! It's incredible how much you learn from and love each companion.


Love y'all!

Sister Shipp

Monday, February 3, 2014

How Great Shall Be Your Joy

We literally saw miracles this week.
I am so grateful for the knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father. He loves us more than we can comprehend and is so involved in the details of our lives. I am so grateful that He wants all to know about Him that we may find the most joy possible in this life and that He can help us. I know one of the things He has given us in our families; an opportunity to learn and to grow, find joy and feel love. I know that He gives us men called by God to guide us in the ways we should go. I know that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, that we may overcome mistakes that we make and the obstacles and trials that come in this life. I know that He has once again reached out to His children and has called a prophet that acts as a mouthpiece for God and lives today. How grateful I am.
How simple of a message, and yet how profound it's effects. It has changed every aspect of my life and how blessed am I to watch as this message changes the lives of others that I come into contact with.
I had the priviledge of having an interview with my Mission President this week. It ended up being kind of an exit interview. He reconfirmed what I had been hearing. I should be leaving for Brazil near the end of the transfer. My visa has either been processed or is almost done. it's not here in California yet, neither are the plane tickets, so I don't know the day, but it will probably be within a few days of the 25th. It's still a little scary and unreal, but I am excited. I know that the Lord will continue to place me where I need to be.
For now, I am loving every minute in California and am so grateful to be serving with Sister Ashworth. I am learning so much from her and we're having lots of fun as well :)
I hope you have a really incredible week!
Sister Shipp